I am obliged to break the rules,
I am here to break the silence,
I will ask for justice,
I will never stop…
The woman functions as a symbol of the site of weakness, vulnerability and discriminations against women are the consequences of this “symbol”. To see the inequality, one must see the person, and see the person not just as a convenient object for the service of men, but as an equal fellow citizen deserving equal respect. Though Bangladesh constitution is made to be “democratic and secular” minorities are often victims of physical attack, harassments and societal discriminations (Freedom House, 2012). Now you can imagine how much insecure you feel to be a woman, a part of gender minority; here the double burden comes being a part of religion minority in a place where a mother is killed and the fetus is taken out of her stomach, where a daughter is raped in front of her mother who begs to those monsters, in the form of men, to leave her daughter, where the perpetrators enjoy their manhood on a girl of their daughters age, enjoy their bravery on a helpless girl pinching sharp bamboo stick into her vagina leaving her bleeding more and more, where a Hindu girl is forcefully get married with a Muslim guy and convert to Islam.
This country, Bangladesh, has heard such stories; it is not something that first time happened in the history. Now we have Purnima, a class six years old talented student, was continuously raped for 55 days. She is a resident of Tongi area in Ghazipur in Bangladesh. On 6th April, 2013, while returning from school, she was abducted by the Islamic slave traders and the fanatic Muslims of the nation. Since then she was missing and after a long hunt the police finally recovered her from Cox’s bazaar area. By the time, she was converted to Islam, forced to pray, forcefully marry to Rabiul Hossen Manik who raped her for constant 55 days multiple times a day.
Though people talk about and discuss many personal issues quite easily, some issues are still taboo like rape, gender violence, and particularly when these are faced by a Hindu girl. It is ignored, being hidden rather than discussed in personal and public conversations. Then the question is who will ask for justice? The mother, who lost her child? Or the girl, who raped again and again? Or that girl, who had a bamboo stick into her vagina? They feel ashamed though they have no faults, they are afraid to show their faces as they feel contaminated by what reminds them of these aspects. That’s what actually we are learned from young age, that losing virginity is a big crime, just as like as a dead cockroach, if it is dropped in a glass of juice, people refuse to drink that, or well-washed clothing that has been worn by someone with an infectious disease is rejected.
We learnt to be silent; we learnt to obey our husbands, the members’ in-laws families. We were not learnt to protect our identity, our vagina, but the society is always there to accuse for that. I rise, I rise for justice, I rise to protect women’s conscience. Purnima was raped; I don’t know how many girls like Purnima were raped brutally. With Purnima and other women, I had a soul rape too as my inner world demanded justice but came with empty hands. If we think at the heart of moralities, the idea that one must learn to see and love our neighbor as ourselves. We should protect our identity, women should not be the always target in conflicts and wars.
I am obliged to break the rules,